Divers off Portugal recently encountered a gigantic sunfish that dwarfed its human admirers, as they surrounded the docile behemoth to document their unforgettable experience.
The accompanying rare footage was captured by Michael Pereria.
“The slow-moving fish and clear water allow for some spectacular close-ups of this amazing animal,” states the video description.
Ocean sunfish, also referred to as Mola molas, are the world’s largest bony fishes. They can measure nearly 15 feet vertically, and reach lengths of about 12 feet.
The largest specimens can weigh as much as 5,000 pounds as they roam tropical and temperate oceans feeding on sea jellies, small fish and plankton.
Their truncated bodies are somewhat circular and feature a back fin that folds into itself as it grows, and serves as a rudder called a clavus. Their mouths never fully close, adding to their bizarre appearance.
Giant sunfish are rarely encountered because they typically roam pelagic zones far from established dive sites.
As far as fish sizes go, only sharks and giant rays, which are cartilaginous and lack bones, are heavier than sunfish.
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